WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) announced today that it will add Egypt, Israel,
Morocco, Russia and Slovakia to the IFC Investable (IFCI) Composite index.
The inclusion of the new markets will bring country coverage of the IFCI
Composite index to thirty-one countries. The new markets will be included
in the IFCI Composite index effective November 3, 1997.
IFC has developed a series of indexes for investors interested in investing
in stock markets in developing countries. The IFCI indexes measure returns
foreign portfolio investors might receive from those stocks available to
foreign investors. These indexes are widely used by index tracking funds.
Industry sources estimate that approximately $7.5 billion is managed in
index funds linked to the IFCI indexes and that billions more are benchmarked
against these indexes.
"Many of the exciting new developments in emerging markets over the
past few months have been in Eastern Europe and the Middle East,"
said Robert Shakotko, Manager of IFC's Emerging Markets Index Group. "The
markets in these two regions have been growing rapidly because of many
new issues and privatizations coming to the market as well as higher prices
for existing listed issues. Consequently, investor interest has been strong,
and we expect the addition of these five new countries to the IFCI Composite
to reinforce that interest."
Indicative weights for the five new countries in the IFCI Composite are
as follows: Russia (2.9%), Israel (1.8%), Egypt (0.6%), Morocco (0.5%),
and Slovakia (0.1%).
IFC provides comprehensive and reliable statistics on emerging stock market
performance, with the ultimate objective to stimulate the flow of private
capital to emerging markets.
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the leading multilateral
source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing
countries. It is also the world's leading publisher of data on stock markets
in developing countries.